The single MOST IMPORTANT thing that a kindergarten (or primary) teacher has to worry about on the first day of school is how each child entrusted in his/her care will go home at the end of the first day. Although I plan very specific activities to do with my class, I really don't care if I get to ANY of them - except finding out how each sweetie goes home. I know this is probably your biggest concern as well.
I do a number of things to make figuring this out and remembering easier.
The very first thing I do is make sure my parents WRITE down how their child will go home (on the first day AND after the first day). This is important because, especially in kindergarten, parents want to pick their child up on the first day of school even if the child will normally ride the bus.
Here is the sheet I have sitting out during both "Meet the Teacher" that we have a few days before school starts AND the first day of school.
My school gives us cheap-o address labels to write the kids names on and how they go home. I HATE them and refuse to use them....basically they don't last even long enough to get them on the correct bus or in the right place for car pick-up. So, I make my own back-pack tags that are WAYYYYY more durable. I even like to laminate mine for a little added durability.....I hole-punch them, run a string through them and....BAM!! I have 'HOW WE GO HOME' tags that LAST!! I love you and so I made these FREE as well!
These backpack tags match my 'HOW WE GO HOME' clip chart. This is a beauty and makes me smile everytime I look at it!! aawwww.....those silly little monsters :0)
(YMCA card not shown, but is included.)
Anyways, I remember the way things used to be: parents would fill out a sheet telling me how their child would go home....I'd check and double check 2, 3, or 100 times to make sure I knew how everyone was to go home.... Then come time to leave I would be TERRIFIED whether I had all the kids in the right lines for dismissal.
That's was before my 'HOW WE GO HOME' clip chart. Here is mine from last year. (I did some updating and added even more cute monsters throughout, but this give you an idea of what it looks like when put together! I promise the new one is WAY cuter!!) It also comes with programmable name tags to place on the clothespins.
I hang it right there on my door - right where I need to use it!
It's super simple to use: each child has a clothespin with their name and it's clipped to the cards that show how they go home.... I included PROGRAMMABLE name tags for the clothespin - (not shown here because I didn't know my kids when I took the picture)..... you can also make notes such as: walks home with.... or bus #.....or can only be picked up by........so everything is easy to reference at the end of a busy day! :0)
I love how this chart is an easy reference AND is easily changed. Am I the only one who gets tons of parents calling throughout the day to change how their child goes home? It drives me crazy! We are busy teaching and yet we have to stop and note the difference....this makes it easy. Simply walk over and move the child's clip!! The kiddos also learn to look at the chart and it helps them become responsible for how they go home. They love that feeling on control. :)
but remember I can't show the name tags....sorry :0)
If you like this, you can get yours HERE! It's $3.50 in my TpT Store. If you purchased this last year, please hop over and re-download this item. I must say I am more in love with the new look than this older one.... but the picture show what I want you to see anyways!
How do you keep track on how your little ones go home?